Thursday, June 3, 2010
Let's get real.
Proverbs 14:12, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." I often have dreams, with the same scenario, in which it causes me to wake up suddenly out of my sleep. See if this sounds familiar to you...it is the moment of the dream, where I am falling off of something. Whether it be a cliff, or a building, or down a waterfall, (ok so I have some wierd dreams) I suddently wake up as I am plumetting down. My fear only lasts for a second, then I awake, in my bed, sweaty, breathing heavily, but relieved...very relieved. Whooo! Only a dream. It wasn't real. Has this ever happened to you? A friend of mine gave me a cd to listen to yesterday. It was the recording of a testimony given by Bill Wiese. (testimony-an outward expression of a religious experience) The name of it is called, "23 minutes in Hell". Yep...I said hell. It was an amazing testament of his out of body experience, in which he was brought to hell. I have heard many sermons on hell, but this one was like no other. He began describing, in detail, the horrific experience and the unbearable surroundings in hell. I guess, I have always had this misconception on what hell is really like. I also have apparently, misunderstood the true meaning of eternity. I have always thought of myself going to heaven, and experiencing eternal peace, love and worship in the presence of a very Holy God. The thought of living in eternity with Jesus, is something I can only imagine, to be the greatest feeling I have ever had, multiplied by a trillion. But, I never thought about what eternity in hell means. What it truly means. Eternity is described in the dictionary as, "unending, forever, the immeasurable extent of time". In listening to him, describe the way hell looked, smelled and felt, he continued to describe how it was "eternal". No end. Forever. Very real. In my dream, I woke up before I felt the crash beneath me. In hell, there is no end to the dream, or the nightmare. It is forever. No ending. My heart broke, as I thought of those who have left this earth, that I knew were not saved. Those who had never asked Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Those who I knew did not know him, and yet I never introduced them to Jesus. Those that are, now and forever, suffering in a very real place called Hell. And no, I can't save them, only Jesus can. But, I could have planted seeds, where I chose to walk away, and leave them knowing nothing about the Savior who loved them enough to give His life for them. I shared no knowledge of Him. I did not tell them the truth of Jesus. Job 3:16 says, "But if they do not listen, they will perish by the sword and die without knowledge." The truth is, many won't know, unless we tell them. We joke about the word "hell". We use it to describe the day we have had. We use it to describe the traffic we sat in that day. We use it to describe the earth we live on. We tell people to go there when we are angry with them. But, we don't tell them that it is a real place, with real suffering, with real pain and with real fire. We want to believe that heaven is real, and we all want to go there, but some of us don't want to do what is necessary to get there. It's funny how as a culture, we have the desire to share our lives with one another. We share meals, we share holidays, we share clothing, we share recipes, we share pictures on facebook, we share vacations, and we even share our money, at times, with one another. But, do we share Jesus? As a culture, in need of the love and mercy that only Christ can give us? Do we share Jesus? I am guilty of holding him all to myself at times, as though He were a toy that I just got for my birthday, and I wanted to enjoy Him, not wanting to share him with anyone. But He is so much more than that. He is Love. He is the Son of God, sent down from Heaven, who suffered on a cross for all of us, and then rose three days later, from a borrowed grave, and ascended into Heaven, so that we would not have to endure the eternal sufferings in Hell. Take a moment, and imagine anyone you know, living for eternity in the imprisonment of hell. Fire all around them. The sounds of screams, from people suffering due to the agonizing pain. A place with no love, no peace, and no hope of ever leaving. Now...take a moment to imagine them in Heaven. Kneeling before the Holy of Holies, feeling more love and peace than any of us could ever fathom with our earthly minds. Seeing Jesus face to face. Living in God's perfect presence for eternity, worshiping Him for an "immeasurable extent of time". Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. In Him you will find mercy. In Him you will find peace and love. In Him you will find eternity in Heaven. I challenge you today, to share Him with someone, anyone. Hell was not meant for us, but life with Jesus is! Come on...let's get real! Romans 10:9, "For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."